Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani


Fresh from her travels to India, our Frugalista Amrita Singh shares an easy and frugal recipe for an authentic South Indian vegetable biryani.

vegetable biryani


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cashews, halved
handful fresh curry leaves
pinch saffron, dissolved in 1 tablepsoon of water
4 cups white shortgrain rice, cooked 3/4 of the way
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4-6 cloves
3-5 cardamom cloves
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablepsoon minced green chili
2 cups diced vegetables, potatoes, carrots, eggplant, peas, etc
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup water, if necessary
1 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped


Fried South Indian Rice Flavour 

  1. On medium-high heat oil, add onions and fry until translucent.
  2. Add cashews and curry leaves. Brown the onion-mix evenly but be sure to not burn.
  3. End by adding saffron.
  4. Gently mix the fried items into the cooked rice.

Vegetable Gravy

  1. Heat oil and add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Fry for a minute.
  2. Add onions and fry until translucent.
  3. Add ginger, garlic, chilies and vegetable. Fry for a minute.
  4. Add coconut milk, water and lemon juice.
  5. Bring to simmer and let simmer until vegetables are almost cooked.
  6. Add salt and dry spices.
  7. Mix and reduce to a gravy consistency. Add more water if necessary. 
  8. Be sure to remove cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods before adding to baking dish.

Assemble and Bake

  1. In a greased baking dish, layer gravy and rice one after another.
  2. Sprinkle chopped mint and coriander leaves.
  3. Repeat three to four times.
  4. Bake biryani at 200 F for 30 minutes.

Serving Size: 6


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